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Bending Nails

In the tavern of my dream,
I am hammering nails
into a pint of sawdust,
and the nails are bending over
one by one by one.

“Why not drink it?”
the bartender (who is Ernest
Hemingway or his twin brother)
says.

“I would if it were beer,”
I say. “If it were beer, I would.”

The bartender considers this.
I look thirstily over at the damp
dish towel in his hands and then up
at his prominent eyebrows and side-
burns.

“You could open a vein
and drink that,” he says.

Jesus Christ, I think. I could.
But by then, I am awake.

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